Published: Mar. 11, 2011
Updated: Mar. 11, 2011
By Emily Mitchell
When your family is complete, finding a permanent form of birth control can be a whole new challenge. Traditionally, the limited options have included the tubal ligation for women and the vasectomy for men.
But for those who are nervous about tubal ligation or whose partners squirm at the idea of a vasectomy, Duke offers Essure, a non-invasive, non-hormonal permanent birth control method.
Nicole Kerner, MD, a gynecologist at Duke Women’s Health Associates, performs this procedure and notes that patients have been very pleased with the results.
“The Essure procedure is safer, less-invasive, equally effective, and less painful than tubal ligation, so it’s a great alternative for patients who are done having children,” Kerner said.
During an Essure procedure, two small coils are passed through the vagina and uterus into the fallopian tubes. These coils are made of materials that have been used in medical devices for years, so they are time-tested and safe. The materials are also hormone-free.
In the three months immediately following the procedure, your body and the coils work to form a natural barrier (like scar tissue) to permanently prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
Insertion of the Essure device can take place at your OB-GYN office and no anesthesia or incisions are necessary.
After the initial three-month period, your doctor will perform a confirmation test where she inserts a safe dye into your vagina and takes an x-ray to ensure that none of the dye can get past the natural blockage created from the Essure procedure.
This easy confirmation test allows your gynecologist to see if the natural barrier has formed and assures that you are adequately protected against future pregnancy.
This simple procedure is ideal for busy moms who have little time for a hospital visit and days of recovery.
The procedure is performed in-office, and, in a few short minutes, the coils can be successfully inserted and patients are free to return home for their short recovery.
“Patients love that they can get back to their normal activities within the same day as this procedure. There is little pain and little down-time to keep them from living their normal, busy lives,” Kerner said.
Essure is relatively new -- it was approved for use in the U.S. in 2002. Kerner has performed this procedure with positive outcomes since 2004.
Her success at offering this innovative method of birth control means you can take worrying about family planning off your to-do list.
To schedule a consultation to discuss if Essure, or another procedure, is right for you, call 888-ASK-DUKE (888-275-3853) toll-free or 919-687-4688 locally.